Despite facing a barrage from S.S Lazio tonight, Milan managed to steal a draw and flip the table on a dominant Lazio side.
Vincenzo Montella tried something new tonight as his haggard Rossoneri visited Rome to face Lazio. Gerard Deulofeu, Montella’s new favourite, was deployed as a deep ‘False-Nine’ to grant space to the attacking wing duo of Lucas Ocampos and Suso.
Lazio tested Milan early on, forcing a great double save from Donnarumma (and Donnarumma’s face) before Ciro Immobile was caught offside when pouncing for the rebound. Immobile once again beat the Milan defence of Zapata and Gomez to the ball, but headed wide. It was always clear where Lazio’s threat would come from. Donnarumma would once again rescue Milan after saving a point-blank header.
Deulofeu and Ocampos switched roles back and forth between the left-wing and the centre, but neither found much success. It would be Ocampos who found Milan’s first chance, but dragged his shot wide of the keeper from a obtuse angle. He had found himself with plenty of space, however.
It’s fair to say that Milan’s false-nine experiment didn’t go well in the first half as it drew to a close. The constant switching between Ocampos and Deulofeu meant that although there was plenty of technique and ‘good ideas’ on show, they resulted in mostly null. Milan lacked stability.
This Milan false 9 looked a lot better on paper. Total confusion up top, can tell club really lacking a leader on the pitch at the moment— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) February 13, 2017
Donnarumma - Milan’s hero for the most of the match gave a penalty away to Ciro Immobile (who was given far too much space, again).
Halftime: Lazio lead Milan 1-0 after Biglia converted the penalty right before the halftime whistle. pic.twitter.com/AxjSpl0LYn— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) February 13, 2017
Despite Gigio’s protests, and three penalty saves thus far this season, Lazio’s Lucas Biglia put away his fourth penalty of the season to destroy Milan’s first-half clean sheet with the last kick of the first forty-five.
Milan needed Manuel Locatelli on top form to make the best of their style of play, but the youngster was anonymous and misplaced most of his attacking passes. Sosa replaced him and Milan, who had been under siege for most of the match, looked a lot brighter. Another replacement damned Montella’s false-nine to the garbage heap as Lapadula came on for Ocampos, much to the chagrin of Carlos Bacca.
The Rossoneri seemed to catch a bit of bad luck as Abate (who was offside) was bundled over rashly by the charging Lulic.
Donnarumma would make up for his earlier challenge by saving from Immobile at close range. He’s going to be an absolute star, isn’t he? This save gave Milan the impetus to do the unimaginable.
Milan bounced back through an excellent goal from Suso, who curled a shot in from outside the box despite being closed down by three separate players. The feel of the game transformed and Lazio suddenly cowered into their half.
One has to feel sympathy for Vincenzo Montella, who has to come up with incredible schemes and rely on moments of individual brilliance from his players to get Milan out of desperation. There are no options for him in terms of players and it would be very harsh to judge him based on Milan’s form of late. It is abundantly clear that this Milan side will succeed if they back Montella.